A relatively new concept for businesses, blogging has become more popular in the last eight years or so. Although it’s a foreign concept for many businesses, as a growing trend within the world of marketing, it’s important to understand what a blog is and why businesses should be blogging.
What is a blog?
One way to think of a blog is as an online journal. This function is spot-on for many individuals, and similarly businesses to publish new content relevant to their industry.
Let’s take the Mainstreethost blog as an example. We have written about a variety of industry-related topics, including content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and branding. We also write posts about Buffalo, grammar, our employees and solutions for staying creative. As you can see, we not only keep our readers up to date on industry information, we also provide some insight into who we are and what we value as an organization.
More than just providing your readers, current and potential customers with information about your organization and industry, blogging is a way to connect with and speak to your target audience.
So why is blogging so important? I have five reasons for you:
Blogging helps increase brand awareness
A valuable approach for increasing brand awareness, blogging provides interesting and useful information to consumers, prompting them to keep your business fresh in their minds, while enticing them to use your products and services.
Here at Mainstreethost, when our customers think about search engine optimization, content marketing or social media marketing, we want to be the first brand that comes to mind. Through our blog posts, our goal is for our clients, both existing and potential to think of us and, subsequently, reach out to us.
Blogging demonstrates that you’re an expert in your industry
When you make it your business to keep up with the latest news and trends in your industry and you share it, it makes people feel a few different things. One, it says that you are on top of your game, so to speak; two, it gives them confidence that you know what you’re talking about; and three, they don’t feel like your blog is just another place for you to sell your products and services.
Of all the blog posts I have written for Mainstreethost, I have not once talked about our services or tried to sell our readers on a product/service; granted, I am relatively new to the department so I only have a handful of posts, but when I write, I sell my ideas, not our services. In my posts, along with the posts of my co-workers, our goal is to inform and entertain, not sell, although that is often an indirect benefit.
Which leads me to the next reason blogging is an important aspect of online marketing…
Blogging is an indirect source of leads
For most blogs, the posts are a source for additional information; another way for organizations to provide their readers with more details about the industry, products, frequently asked questions and again, information about the organization itself. While it’s not unheard of to promote your own products and services in a post, if that’s all your blog does, you are going to turn people off. People read blogs for information, ideas and opinions, not to buy something; potentially, a blog could influence a potential customer to buy a product or service from you.
While I don’t recommend selling to your audience on your blog, offering a free download or other offer could work in your favor. Since your readers are in the market for your services (or thinking about your services), offering them something in exchange for their contact information will be beneficial to you, and hey, it might even turn into a sale down the road.
If you read any of our social media posts, at the bottom we offer a free download of our e-books. All you have to do is fill out the form and voila, you have more information about various social media sites at your fingertips.
Blogging provides your readers with valuable information
As I’ve mentioned, a blog is a great opportunity for you to inform your audience of industry related news and information. And sometimes, it can be fun to go out of your industry and just talk about current events or helpful tips. Whether you are providing solutions to issues your audience may encounter or helpful tips for various products, your readers will appreciate it and come back for more.
On the Mainstreethost blog, our audience can read about various industry-related topics. In addition to our opinions about various subjects, we also provide how-tos, tips and answers to frequently asked questions.
Blogging is another source of indexed content
In addition to establishing yourself as an expert, providing valuable information, generating sales and increasing brand awareness, having a blog provides you with the opportunity to be found under additional phrases. While your website key phrases will be geared toward the products or services you offer, your blog posts increase your chances of being found under supplementary phrases that are related to your business.
Although I could go on for days why blogging is important for businesses, I think I have given you enough to contemplate for now.
What are some of the reasons your organization blogs? Let us know in the comments below.
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